At Any Cost | Book One of Exafortespent

By Alma Azura Celia All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Drama

Fifty One: Another Deal

The faint sound of the bell ringing wake me up from my daze. I stand up from the ground and walk behind the tree. I stay there, hiding from people's sight. After a few minutes, I walk into the school building, looking around the hallway, afraid that the people I don't want to face comes out of nowhere.

I walk into my class, finding it already empty. I walk to my table, and look at my chair, where my bag is suppose to be. And it isn't there.

Where the hell is my bag?

Within a second, my phone vibrates in my hand. I quickly take a look on it and groan.

M: 'Your bag is with me. Come to the parking lot if you want it back.'

Fuck.

The person I don't want to see the most have my bag with him. Shit, what should I do now? I have my car keys and other important things in the bag. I guess there's nothing I can do other than to come and take my bag from him.

I run out of the school and jog to the parking lot, spinning my head around as I search for Matthew. I stop moving around as my eyes catch the sight of him, my bag hanging from his hand as he stands by his car. I walk up to him, trying to keep myself calm and my face neutral as I move my feet toward him. I stop in front of him, my eyes staring up at him.

"Give me back my bag." I demand, almost sound monotonous as I hold my hand out. He looks down at me flatly, not even blinking for once. "No. You have to work on my homework first if you want to get this back."

"You can't just take my stuff!" I scowl. He straightens his back, letting out a breath. "Of course I can because now, you're mine."

What? Did I just heard him claiming that I'm his? Ha. No way in hell that would ever happen.

"What?!" He sighs, rolling his eyes at the word that I say too often and then bring his gaze back to me. "Stop saying that word."

"You said I'm yours?" I stare at him in disbelief with my eyes open wide. I shake my head and roll my eyes. "So it's settled then. You're a psycho."

"13." He says, his face turns blank again as he stares me down. My eyes widen at what he said and I keep staring up at him in disbelief. "You're still counting? Unbelievable!"

"Of course I am. Now get into the car." He demands me, pointing his finger to his car. I fold my arms over my chest, scowling at him as I stand my ground. "No."

"No?" He raises his eyebrows. I shake my head slightly. "No." I let out a sigh take a step towards him. "Stop telling me what to do! Give me back my bag!" I yell, starting to lose my patience.

"No. Stop telling me what to do!" He says, sounds like he's mocking my words. "I'm taking your bag and you can walk home."

"Give. Me. Back. My. Bag!" I say through gritted teeth and let out a battle cry as I lunge forward and reach for my bag. Matthew moves his hand up to the air swiftly and I try to keep reaching for my bag. I keep jumping, but it's no use. He's way too tall for me.

"You want your bag? Get into the car." He says, staring down at me. I look up at him, frowning. "But my car-"

"It will be fine here."

"I can't just leave my car at the school parking lot."

"You don't want your bag? Fine." He steps into his car, throwing my bag to the passenger side and shut the car door. He turns the car engine on, glancing at my way for a second.

This boy always make everything so complicated, I think to myself.

I let out a sigh, knowing that I don't have any other choice. I knock at his car window repeatedly and the window rolls down. "What?"

"Alright. I'm coming with you."

Bag, I'm coming.

"It's not that hard to say that, right?" He smirks evilly. I turn around and roll my eyes. Walking to the passenger side, I prepare myself to snatch my bag from the seat and run away from him. I look into the car and Matthew grabs my bag and put it under his legs.

This boy is smart.

A scowl appears on my face as I look at what he just did and step into the car. I shut the door close and sigh. I turn to him and hold my hand out. "Give me my bag."

"I will give it to you when you finish doing my homework and get all the punishment you received. And I know that if I give your bag right now, I'm sure you would be already running away by now. I'm not as stupid as you thought."

I let out a sigh, scowling as I look out the window.

"Hey, don't scowl like that. Or do you want another punishment?"

"I don't care."

He keeps driving the car, too fast, I could say. I glance at his way, staring at his knuckles turning white from gripping the steering wheel too tightly. I look up at his face and I can see his jaw locked and his stare focused on the road in anger. He stops the car abruptly and the seat belt hold me back to my seat.

I glare at him, only to get a smirk from him in return. He parks the car in front of the front door and the engine is cut off. Stepping out of the car, Matthew take my bag with him and shut the door. I sit there, my arms crossed in front of my chest as I scowl. I look at him giving me an 'are you kidding me' look. He opens my side door, but I keep my gaze forward, ignoring him.

"Get out."

I unbuckle my seat belt and jump out of the car, intentionally hitting his body with mine. I walk towards the house, hearing the car door slam shut behind me. He grips on my wrist tightly, pulling me into him. I hiss in pain as he turns me around and force me to look up at him. Anger covers his face as he stares down at me.

"Don't ever do that again."

He thinks by staring at me like that and threaten me could make me cower like a 5 years old? Even five years-old could stomp on his feet and just walk away by looking at his annoying face.

"Like I care." I stare back at him with the same intensity. He turns me around and push me forward. I leave him behind and push open the door angrily, not really caring this is another people house that gets the impact of my anger. I drop myself onto the couch and fold my arms in front of my chest.

"Get that scowl off of your face." He demands, standing tall in front of me.

"Fuck you and the deal! Don't tell me what to do!" I look away and let out a huff of air.

"Oh, so now you want to fuck, huh?" He says, though I'm not looking straight at his face, I can see the ugly smirk on his face. My face suddenly feel hot but anger make me ignore the weird feeling and glare at him.

"That's not what I mean!"

"If you don't care about the deal anymore, that means you don't care about your little bag over here anymore." He holds up my bag and jiggle it. He brings his gaze back to me, smiling mischievously. "Which also mean you don't care if I burn this down right now."

"Why are you making this whole thing a lot more complicated?" I sigh, running a hand down my face in exasperation.

"You're the one who started this whole thing. Face your own fault. Now, I want to make another deal with you so things could be a lot more easier for both of us." He takes a seat on the other end of the couch.

"All you can do is only making things a lot more worse." I scoff, smiling humorlessly as I shake my head.

"You haven't even hear my proposition. It will have a lot of benefits for you." I stare at him for a second, looking for any signs of him just wanting to mess with me, but there's actually nothing as he stares back at me with his eyebrow slightly raised.

"Do tell."

"So, I think about how long the deal would last since you didn't tell me about it before. So, I was thinking that the deal should last until prom."

"So this shit going to last for almost a year? Hell no! You can't just decide when this deal should end. I'm the one who make this deal."

"But I'm the one who wins it and that means it's my decision to decide when the deal should end."

"What else you're offering?"

"You would be doing all of my homework, cook me dinner, take my lunch, sit with me every lunchtime, go with me everyday to school, go anywhere with me, do all the things I told you to do, no more punishment and no more going out with Austin. Oh, and you can have day off every Saturday and Sunday." I stare at him in disbelief, my mouth slightly open.

Is he just proposing me to be his own maid?

"Are you serious? So, I'm your personal maid now, huh? I'm not going to do all of your homework, cook you dinner, go anywhere with you." I take in a breathe and continue my rambling. "And who do you think you are to forbid me to go out with Austin? There's no benefit I get from your proposition. All I get is a lot more things to make me suffer."

"Of course there are benefit for you. You have day-offs, you don't have to drive to school, you can get into parties only certain people could get into, and you're not going to get anymore punishment." He says, shrugging.

"I'm not going to have that deal with you. You can't just ban me from meeting your own cousin. He's a great friend." I frown as I remember Austin and all the fun things we have done.

He is a great friend. I do consider him as one of my best friend here other than the boys and Chloe. Or soon to be boyfriend.

He stares back at me for a while, and sigh. "Fine. You can still go out with Austin, don't have to cook me dinner and take my lunch." He rolls his eyes.

"That's a deal, then." I grin at him, receiving another eyes roll from him. He sits himself more properly on the couch and look up at me. "Okay. Now, will you go order some pizzas? I know you must be hungry too."

"Uh, okay. What do you want to order?"

"Just pepperoni and cheese."

"Alright."

I dial the pizza place number and put my phone down when I'm done ordering. Sighing, I rest my back on the comfortable couch cushion.

"Come with me." He says, more like demanding me, and already standing on his feet. I look up at him in confusion, tilting my head slightly. "Where?"

"To my room."

"What are we going to do there?"

Weird, we're usually just stay here to do his homework and other assignment. Now why is he wanting me to go up to his room?

"Do my homework, of course. What else do you think we're going to do?" He raises one of his eyebrows.

"Oh, no- nothing." I stutter, feeling my cheeks burning slightly from thinking about the weird thoughts in my head. "I'm just asking. Besides, we can just do your homework here."

"No. I don't want to bring my book down here only to bring it back up to my room after. Now hurry up."

I sit on his bed, frowning as I check the time on my phone and sigh. Damn, I sigh a lot lately. Matthew stands in front of his wardrobe and start to unbuckle his belt. I look at him wide-eyed and jump to my feet.

"Woah, woah, woah. Hold up. Are you seriously going to slip that off in front of me?" He looks at me with a flat face and hum as a reply. My eyes widen in shock and I gape at him. "Are you crazy?!"

"No, this is my room so I can do whatever I want in here." He pulls down his pants and I quickly turn around and put my hands over my eyes.

Damn, this boy is fucking insane!

Rustles of clothes still can be hear by me and I keep my eyes covered although I have my back facing him, not really knowing why.

"Are you done there?" I ask as the rustling of clothes gone.

"Yeah." I put my hands off of my eyes and turn around to see him only in his sweatpants and I groan as I turn around again.

"You say you're done!" I groan, rolling my eyes.

"Don't act like you haven't seen a shirtless man."

"First of all, you're not a man; you're still a high school boy. And second of all, I'm giving you respect. I'm not just going to gawk at your body." I roll my eyes.

"Oh, so you like to stare at me shirtless?" I can hear him being so cocky as he says that. Ugh, what a jerk.

"NO! I'm not! I haven't even seen you shirtless before."

"You said you look away so you wouldn't gawk at my body."

"Well, to be completely honest, every girl would probably do that okay. Especially with boys like you; athletes. You guys have a fine as fuck bodies." Why do I even said that?! I bet it's only making his ego flies up higher to the sky.

"Oh, so now you're complimenting me?" Now I can feel him smirking behind me. What a fucking egocentric jerk.

"Not just you. All of the boys in the team; Brodie, Nick and others. Oh, especially Austin." I smirk. I feel him scowling behind me, only to make my smirk goes wider.

"You haven't even seen him shirtless."

"Well, I have. Even if I haven't, I could see his toned abs under his shirt." I shrug.

"That also mean you could see mine too."

Wait? Why are we even arguing about this? Why do I always end up talking and arguing about stupid and pointless shit with him?

"Hold up. Why are we even talking about this? Ugh, so fucking weird. So, me being honest, yes, you do have a pretty nice body. So, for respecting you, I look away. I don't want you to be uncomfortable by me gawking until flies get into my fucking mouth."

"Then turn around. I don't mind you gawking."

"Fine. I won't really gawk anyway." I turn around and see him, smirking at me. I try my best to keep my face flat though I really want to tackle him and wipe that smirk off of his face. I sit on the edge of his bed and look up at him. "Done. Now what?"

"If that's so, you don't mind with me not wearing any shirt? It's kind of hot today." He says, wiping beads of sweat from his forehead.

"No! Wear Your. Shirt. Now." I demand. He shakes his head slightly and stare down at me. "I'm not going to. This is my room, my house. I can do whatever I want."

"Ugh, whatever. Just don't come near me unless you put a shirt on. I don't want your sweat on my clothes."

He ignores my words and walk to his study desk and grab some of his books and throw it right at me. Right onto my beautiful face, I could say.

"Ouch! What the heck is wrong with you?" I keep rubbing my throbbing forehead and nose as I scowl at him a little.

"Sorry not sorry. It was intentionally thrown to hit your face."

"You little shit." I scowl at him and suddenly one thing crosses my mind. I look around the room frantically as I search for my bag. "Wait, where's my bag?"

"It's already rest in peace in hell."

"WHAT?! YOU BURN MY BAG!?" I stare up at him in fright. All of my precious things are in there and he burns them with the bag. How could he?

"It's downstairs, you little shit. I've been with you the whole fucking time."

"I'll go grab it then." I start to stand from the bed when Matthew pushes me back to sit on the bed. I stare at him with my mouth agape and he just stares at me dully. "Stay here. I'll take it for you. I'm not risking to give you a chance to run away."

"What is the point of running away, anyway? You will probably drag me back here from the street."

"Just stay here."

He walks out of the room and shut the door. A clicking from the door make my eyes widen in disbelief. Does he really locked me in his room? Great. Now I'm his hostage and I'm going to die in here.

I run to the door and slam my fist to the door repeatedly, making a noise through the empty house. "Hey! You can just lock me in here! Let me out! Hey! Open the goddamn door, Matthew!" I wait for him to argue but I hear nothing from the other side.

I lay there on his bed for almost 15 minutes and he hasn't come back here.

Damn. Where is he gone to? I bet he's eating the pizza by himself downstairs. Great. I'm going to starve to death now. How nice.

The clicking sound make me raise my head and look at the door and lay back down, frowning.

"I thought you're already working on my homework." He says, staring down at me with bewilderment. I mimic his expression and keep my gaze on his. "I thought you're bringing me back my bag."

"I am." He raises my bag and put his hand back down. I lay my head back to the bed, sighing. "Bring it here." I hold my hand up, still laying on the bed lazily as I wait for him to hand back my bag.

"What are you? Three? Take it yourself."

"Bring it to me or I'm not going to work on your homework." I threaten. He lets out a loud exasperated sigh and walk to me, putting the bag on my hands. I quickly pull the bag down and hug it tightly.

"My bag! Please don't go away from me anymore."

"You're crazy."

"I am." My eyes averted towards his hand and I hurriedly sit on the bed. "Ooh, the pizza is here." Can't wait to stuff 'em into my mouth.

"It is. Now, do my homework." He orders. I look back up at him and let a pout appear on my face. "But I'm hungry. At least give me some time to eat. I can't concentrate when I'm hungry." As in cue, my stomach starts to grumble and I look up at him giving him an 'I told you' look. He keeps staring me down and give up after a few seconds. "Fine."

He walks around and sit on the other side of the bed and open the box. He grabs a slice of it and I quickly grab one too. I bite on my pizza and decide to check on my phone. So many notifications. Texts from my best friends? Oh my god. Finally! It's been a while.

I open the texts from my best friends and smile at how they say they miss me so much, and some of them tell me jokes that are so funny.

"What are you doing?" He stares at me weirdly.

"Just reading texts from my best friends."

A laughter comes out from me as I read Cody's text message. He tells me he misses me and tells me how he always being the clumsy one he is and have been in many of little accidents since I've gone here.

"You're annoying. Finish your pizza fast or do you want to sleep here in my house?" I snap my gaze up to him, shaking my head. "No!"

"Then hurry. I'm not going to let you go home before you finish my homework." He scowls and continue to eat his pizza. I frown at him. "Okay, okay. Calm your shit down. Why so serious?"

He rolls his eyes in return and I shake my head and continue eating my pizza. We sit still, eating in silence only the sounds of us munching on the pizza can be heard.

Light rain pours outside the house and I look out to see it's getting louder and heavy along with thunders lighting up the grey sky.

How can I go back home if the rain is this heavy? I keep eating the pizza, pouting as the thought of me staying here longer than I should cross my mind.

"Uh, where is the guest bathroom?"

"Just us mine." He says, pointing his finger to the bathroom across the room.

"Um, okay."

I jump off his bed and walk into his bathroom. I go to the sink and wash my hand and quickly walk back to the room, seeing Matthew already put on a navy blue hoodie.

I sit back on his bed and take one of his book. Letting out a sigh, I begin to work on his homework which is also mine. Thank goodness it's not as many as yesterday.

"Ashley." I hum in reply, not taking my eyes off of the homework.

"Go grab cookies and cream ice cream pint and a spoon."

"Okay."

I already agreed to this deal so I guess I really should do what he tells me to do. And besides, grabbing an ice cream pint and a spoon won't be that hard though it's kind of time consuming.

I jump off of the bed and run out of the room and downstairs to the kitchen. I walk swiftly to the refrigerator, humming my favorite song, and grab the ice cream and walk to the drawer and grab a spoon.

I run up the stairs and walk into Matthew's bedroom. I sit on the bed, cross-legged, and give him the ice cream and spoon. I continue working on his homework, pursing my lips and furrowing my eyebrows as I focused on finding the answer to the questions I already read for a few times but still haven't understand the meaning of it. I unconsciously put the pen close to my lips and bite it, still feeling confused about the questions.

"Don't bite that. It's mine."

I look up at him in confusion and realizes what he means in a second. I look down at the pen, it already has a little dent on it. I quickly pull the pen away from my lips and grimace. I smile at him apologetically, only to receive a scowl from him.

I put the pen down and bring my focus back to the homework. I bite my nails unconsciously as I keep reading the question repeatedly. Sighing, I decide to move to another question so I'm not wasting more of my time.

"Ashley."

I turn my gaze away from my book and look at him, placing a spoonful of ice cream into his mouth. He engulfs the ice cream as he keeps staring back at me. He digs another spoonful of the ice cream and hold it in front of me. "Want some?"

"From the same spoon you used? I guess that's a no from me. But thanks for the offer." I smile at him a little and begin to continue on the homework.

"It's not like I have a contagious illness that could make you sick too." I let out a sigh and look up at him. "If I use the same spoon as you, we're indirectly kissing with each other."

He lets out a scoff, smiling a little at my silly excuse. "Where did you hear that? From someone when you were in elementary school?" I roll my eyes at him. "No, it's just gross."

"I know you want this." He says as he puts the spoon of ice cream into his mouth. I look at the ice cream, frowning. It does look tempting, but I'm not going to eat it with the same spoon he's using. "I am. But I don't want to use the same spoon as you."

"You have no other choice."

"I have. I can just go downstairs and grab a spoon. Problem solved." I smile. He just stares at me dully. "No, I won't let you go downstairs."

"Then it's fine for me. It's not like I going to die if I don't eat the ice cream." I shrug and continue working on his homework, ignoring him teasing me with the ice cream.

"I know you want this."

"Shut up. I'm concentrating." I say as I keep reading the question over again. I glare at him as I feel him keep staring at me. "Or you don't want me to finish your homework?"

"It means you're not going home tonight." He shrugs, putting another spoonful of the ice cream into his mouth.

Damn, why? Why is this happening to me?

I stare at the book sighing as I calm myself down. I bring my gaze back up to him. "Just be quiet okay?"

"Not until you eat the ice cream." I stare up at him and sigh. "Now you force me to eat that?"

"Yes."

"What the heck is wrong with you?" I put my face on my hand and groan loudly, getting myself more annoyed by him.

"Just eat this or I won't let you go home."

"Fine. Give me the spoon." I hold my hand out, waiting for him to give me the spoon. But he doesn't even budge as he stares at me. "No, I'll be feeding it to you."

"I'm not a baby, Matthew." I give him a look and he keeps staring at me dully. "Do you want to go home or not?"

I keep staring back at him, knowing that he won't give up. I bury my face in the book, groaning once again. I lift my head up and stare him, rolling my eyes. "Fine."

I pout as he spoons a spoonful of ice cream, a little smile on his face. I stare at him like he's an insane person and he looks at me. I quickly wipe off the expression from my face and replace it with a blank one.

"Open your mouth."

"Are you seriously going to do this?" I stare at him, feeling so unsure about this because what the heck even happening in his head right now? Now I'm definitely sure he has something wrong with his head.

"Yes."

"This is weird and random as fuck."

"Open your mouth or I won't let you go home."

I open my mouth hesitantly, afraid that this is a prank he's pulling on me. He puts the spoon into my mouth and I close my mouth, feeling the cold and delicious ice cream inside my mouth. He pulls the spoon out from my mouth, grinning. "It's not that hard, right?"

What did just happen?

I only nod my head, still having confusion inside of my head as I stare at him take another spoon of ice cream and put it into his mouth, something glinting in his eyes. I shake my head, blinking my eyes as I bring myself back to continue his homework.

This is confusing. And why did I even let him did that? That spoon has gone into his mouth and god knows he probably has some very contagious virus or any other illnesses although he doesn't admit it.

He puts another spoonful of ice cream in front me and I look up at him in confusion. He lightly push the spoon to my lips, silently demanding me to open my mouth. I open my mouth and he puts the spoon into my mouth.

Minutes pass by as I work on his homework as he keeps feeding me the ice cream which is oddly great because I get some free ice cream from him but it makes me not fully concentrated on doing his homework since I keep thinking what makes him do this weird shit.

"Now, let's get you home." He says after I finish doing all of his homework in 2 and half an hour.

"But-"

"You don't have your car with you, remember?"

"Right. Why don't you get me to walk under the cold hard rain?" I say and look out the window and flinch a little as I see lightning strikes through the sky.

"I don't want your parents get mad at me because I'm the one who lets you go like that. And if you're sick, who's going to work on my homework and do things for me?"

"Oh."

"Now let's go."

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